Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) is a bit overwhelmed. Not only does he have a day job again — as the mayor of Star City, no less — but he also is the only remaining member of Team Arrow hitting the streets every night.
At the end of last season, after Oliver killed Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), and both Diggle (David Ramsey) and his sister Thea (Willa Holland) left the team. Oliver, going against Felicity’s wishes, has been at it alone since then. With the emergence of Tobias Church (Chad Coleman) in Star City, however, it seems Oliver is finally ready to take Felicity’s advice and build a new team.
One of the new candidates for Team Arrow is Rene Ramirez (Rick Gonzalez), better known as Wild Dog. Variety spoke with Gonzalez about Wild Dog and his relationship with the Green Arrow.
What’s Wild Dog’s story?
He’s a vigilante out in Star City doing his own thing, trying to help. He’s someone who walks to the beat of his own drum, thinks he has it all figured out. But I think he also knows he’s a person who creates a lot of havoc in his life. He wants to do good but sometimes doesn’t know how.
At the end of the day, what I love about Wild Dog is he is somebody who — if you’ve got him on your team — you’re in good shape. He’s someone you want on your side.
Based on the season premiere, Green Arrow and Wild Dog clearly have some kind of history. How long has Wild Dog been out there and do the two have a problem with each other?
Wild Dog has been doing his thing for about six months. Oliver shoots him in the leg with an arrow in the premiere as a way of telling him to stay off the streets. As we’ll see though, Wild Dog is pretty hard-headed and stubborn and does what he wants.
Everyone knows that the Green Arrow has saved Star City many times over, and he saved the world from Damien Darhk so there is some respect there. When he comes to Wild Dog, offering to train him, it’s kind of like Michael Jordan saying he’ll teach you to play basketball. You have to say yes.
What does he think of the training itself?
He does want to be train, but the way Green Arrow wants to train the recruits — especially Rene — doesn’t fly with him. In his mind he had an idea of how this would happen, or how he wanted it to happen, and the way Green Arrow approaches it creates a discord between the two of them.
Rene, out of all the recruits, has the most training. So there is also an ego that he brings along, where he thinks “I’m pretty far along, so all I need you to do is teach me how to shoot my jumpshot and score.” He thinks Green Arrow can skip all the other antics.
How does Wild Dog get along with the other new recruits?
He just wants to get in and out. He wants to get the training, not make any friends, and just go at it alone. Wild Dog doesn’t have a lot of respect for the rest of the group — his ego and what he’s been through — doesn’t lend itself to wanting to connect with the others in the group. He doesn’t think they can bring any value to his life.
Oliver has taken to killing again this season. Does Wild Dog agree with that choice or does he have an issue with it?
As a vigilante, Wild Dog was probably out there killing for good. His mindset is he needs to get rid of the bad on the street, and do it his way. So in this regard the two are probably in agreement. Wild Dog is a straightforward person, he just wants to wipe out the criminal element.
“Arrow’s” second episode, titled “The Recruits,” airs Wednesday at 8/7c on The CW.